I do not remember my dad telling me he loved me until I was 19 years old. Even then, it was a response to me telling him first. Looking back, I believe he loved me and would have laid down his life for me. As we have both gotten older, he tells me often of his love for me. He was a loving father but it was not expressed clearly for many years.
Our resurrection with Jesus has made us loving people by replacing our old nature with a new nature. Romans 6:3-4 tells us the old selfish nature has been crucified and buried with Christ being left in the grave. 1 Peter 1:3 describes it this way, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Do you see it? Jesus resurrection = our new birth (nature).
This new nature is not an improved old nature. It is a nature which is like God because it is from God. 2 Peter 1:4 proves this where it says “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
God is love. It is His nature. Because our new nature is like God, it is a loving nature. Every person who is in Christ is a loving person. Loving others does not make us a loving person. We became a loving person the moment we placed our faith in Christ. Just to be clear, our new nature does NOT make us God. “As He is in the world, so are we.”
A lady politely argued with me about this at a recent Conference. Though she knew many Scriptures about our identity in Christ, she still believed the lie, “What I do defines who I am” rather than the truth, “Our identity in Christ will determine what we do.” Driving home from the conference one night, the Holy Spirit filled her with such an incredible awareness of the truth that she was overwhelmed to the point of sweet tears running down her face.
We all need to ask the Holy Spirit to renew our minds with this reality. Because our new nature is like God’s nature, we are loving people. That is why when God tells us in His Word to love one another and to love our enemies, He is not telling us to do something that is contrary to who we are. He is telling us to live like Him, the One who loves us and who loves His enemies enough to sacrifice His Son for their salvation. To love like Him is to live like who we already are in Christ. In fact, to love this way is our new normal so we need to ask the Holy Spirit in us to love through us.
Our resurrection with Christ has freed us from sin as our master (Romans 6:6), freed us from the Law (Romans 7:4) so we are free to live with passion. We have the freedom to love because that is the deepest desire of who and what we are! We have been freed to love God, ourselves and others.
A young married man recently shared with me that God had been speaking to him about this. He told him that as a son of God, he was already a loving husband and father. He is being so transformed that he says he and his wife have the closest relationship ever in their five year marriage! What is so remarkable about this is eight months ago, he was contemplating leaving his wife. That is the freedom to love!
Whether you feel it or see it demonstrated in your life, would you stop right now and thank God that you are already a loving person in Christ? Then ask Him to remind you of this. Like the man above, you might be surprised at how this transforms not only you but your relationships.
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